Get Contact & Order Info from Interested Web Site Visitors

by : Fred Black

How do I create a web page that allows visitors to my web site to submit their contact information to me?

Let's pretend that you are a very serious amateur photographer and you have a web site where you show off some of your photographs. Also suppose that you'd like to offer prints of your photographs for sale on your web site. We're not talking about drugstore prints; we're talking about framed, professional quality prints that hang in your home or office. It seems like a huge task to create an online order system as you offer various sizes of prints with various frames and different mattes. The simplest option is to create a web page with a form to collect contact and other information from a prospective customer. This information is emailed to you when they submit the form. You can then follow up with the prospective customer, finding out their needs and quoting a price.

This scenario works well in environments where order volume is low enough that an automated order processing system is not required. The example of higher-end customized photography fits this perfectly. It also has the added benefit of creating a personalized order process where your customer gets to know you. If handled correctly, this personal contact can really enhance repeat sales.

Is this hard to do? Just how do you make a web page to get contact information sent to you by email? The answer is you use a form. What's a form you ask? A form is a place on a web page containing fields where you enter text and select choices like red, blue, green, or small, medium, large. HTML Form tags are used to create a form. Inside the HTML Form tags, you use different types of HTML Form Field Tags. Like the Input Tag for getting text such as a name, email, or street address, radio button or checkbox tags for selecting among choices, the select tag for creating drop-down selectors, etc. Also, the button type for creating a button such as the submit button.

After creating the form and making your page look like you want it to, you'll need to create the scripting or code that runs on the server to receive the data from the form and email t to you. This is easy on most servers and can be part of the same page that contains the form.

This is a low maintenance and fairly easy way to accept orders or other types of requests from your web site visitors. Its advantages are that it requires little maintenance and upkeep.